County Assembly Adopts New Law to Increase Oversight

Kirinyaga Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) have adopted a raft of changes to engage with the County Executive Ministers with strict timelines on queries raised on the Floor of the House.

The changes were meant to ensure that accountability by the executive is always closely monitored by the legislature especially on implementation of county government programmes.

The Assembly introduced a Question and Reply session in the latest amendment to the Standing Orders which stipulates that the County Executive Committee Members (CECs) must reply to Questions regarding their dockets within 30 days of referral.

In a sitting Chaired by Speaker Anthony Gathumbi, the Assembly however said a query certified as urgent shall be replied to within seven days. Currently the CECs are at liberty to reply after an unspecified time.

The proposed changes will ensure MCAs engage with CECs in a structured way where the latter would be required to attend committee sittings to shed light on various issues that were not satisfactorily replied to in written responses.

The MCAs too would be required to be present in the Chamber during the question time designated for every Wednesday failure to which the said question would be dropped.

“Where the Member scheduled to raise a question is absent without the Speaker’s permission, the question shall be dropped and no further proceedings shall be allowed on the question during the same session,” reads Standing Order 39 B(6).

The current Standing Orders only provide for statement requests which have always taken longer time to be replied to regarding the implementation of projects and programs.

The Standing Orders which will take effect in the next County Assembly after the August General Elections, will also allow Members to react to speech made in the Chamber by a visiting dignitary including the Senator.

While moving the amendments as contained in the Report of the Rules and Procedure Committee, the Deputy Speaker Joel Wagura noted that the changes would usher in a new era where the oversight role of the Assembly has been made easier.



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